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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, January 3, 2019

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2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

The secret of staying young is to live honestly, eat slowly, and lie about your age. - Lucille Ball

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Chris Froome plans to ride Tour de Yorkshire

Here's the press release Froome's Team Sky sent me:

Team Sky have announced four- time Tour de France winner Chris Froome has his sights set on riding this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.

The six-time Grand Tour Champion, who is eyeing a fifth Tour de France title, has announced his race calendar for the year and high on his agenda is a return to Yorkshire. 33-year-old Froome explains; ‘Yorkshire hosted the start of the Tour de France a few years ago and the atmosphere was just incredible. The Tour de Yorkshire has been growing year on year and I’d love to get out there this year’

Chris Froome

Chris Froome plans to ride the Tour de Yorkshire. Sirotti photo

The team also revealed Froome hopes to be a part of the UCI Road World Championships in Yorkshire in September where he’ll race for Great Britain along with the reigning Tour de France Champion Geraint Thomas.

Thomas, who is 32, says; ‘Looking at the course for Worlds in Yorkshire, I think the Men’s Elite Individual Time Trial will be my best chance of getting a title. It’ll be a good goal to have for the end of the year. I certainly want to be there because the support in Yorkshire is unbelievable. I think it’s going to be a massive World Championships and I want to be a part of it.’

Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: ‘Both Chris and Geraint raced in Yorkshire when we hosted the Grand Depart of the Tour de France in 2014 so have first-hand experience of the incredible crowds and carnival atmosphere here in Yorkshire. They will be guaranteed the hugest of Yorkshire welcomes for the Tour de Yorkshire and the UCI Road World Championships and we can’t wait to see them race on our county’s roads.’

Trek-Segafredo to start their season at Santos Tour Down Under

Here's the team's release:

Only one week from now, the Trek-Segafredo women will make their debut in the Women’s World Tour peloton. Six months have passed since Trek Bikes announced they would launch their own women’s team at the highest level of road racing. Now the time has come to reap the rewards of those months of preparations and go and take it.

The whole team, both riders and staff, are looking forward to making a big entry. Director, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg set the ambitions high: “We are all excited about 2019 finally starting. The races come early and it is hard to peak for them but we come with a solid group of riders to the Australian races and for sure we want to be part of the action and will try to go home with at least one win in the bag.”

Lauretta Hanson, from a small town called Fern Hill near Melbourne, shares Teutenberg’s enthusiasm: “I’m really looking forward to racing Santos Women’s Tour Down Under. My family don’t get to watch me race that often so it’s really special for me to be able to start my season in Australia with my new team. I’ve always enjoyed the racing and the atmosphere that surrounds the TDU and it’s a great way to kick off my year with Trek-Segafredo.

Lining up with Hanson are Finnish sprinter Lotta Lepistö, Italians Elisa Longo Borghini and Letizia Paternoster and Americans Tayler Wiles and Ruth Winder.

Elisa Borghini

Elisa Borghini will be riding the Santos Tour Down Under.

The Santos Tour Down Under will also be the first race for the Trek-Segafredo men. Former winner and Tasmanian rider, Richie Porte, will be racing his first kilometers in the Trek-Segafredo jersey at the Santos Tour Down Under and he is very eager to kick off his season in the best possible way: “The Tour Down Under is always a goal for me in the start of the season and it’s a joy to race in Adelaide every January. Obviously, riding my first race with Trek-Segafredo in Australia, I will be extra motivated to start with a good showing on GC and hope to continue the Willunga success. There is to be a very strong bunch of GC favorites racing who want to win the race so I know I’ll need to be on top of my game and I will be!”

Ricie Porte

Richie Porte winning stage five of the 2018 Tour Down Under. Sirotti photo

Porte has won the glorious Willunga Hill stage 5 years in a row and is aiming to make that 6. One change this year’s event is that the Willunga Hill Stage is no longer the penultimate stage but has been moved to the very last day of the Santos Tour Down Under, making the battle for GC last until the final kilometers of the race. William Clarke (AUS), Koen de Kort (NED), Ryan Mullen (IRL), Jarlinson Pantano (COL), Kiel Reijnen (USA) and Peter Stetina (USA) will all be highly motivated to help Porte in his ambitions to ride a strong GC and continue his success on Willunga Hill.

Marco Haller wins the opener of the Australian Bay Crits

Here's the report from Haller's Katusha-Alpecin team:

Marco Haller started the season successfully. The 27-year-old Austrian rider won the first race of the Lexus of Blackburn Bay Crits in New Year's Day in Geelong, Australia. Haller was the fastest rider after a sprint from a five-man squad. The German Raphael Freienstein was second, ahead of Miles Scotson (Groupama-FDJ).

"Everybody was pretty excited for the Bay Crits. Winning a race on January 1st is just a perfect start for the team and of course for myself," said Marco Haller.

Haller was joined by his teammates Alex Dowsett, Nathan Haas and two "national level" riders. Tom Chapman from South Australia and Dylan McKenna of Victoria were the lucky winners of a competition launched by KATUSHA Sports in mid-December. The five-man special team raced in customized KATUSHA Sports kits in collaboration with Pushys.

Marco Haller

Marco Haller racing in the 2018 Paris-Roubaix. Sirotti photo

"Nathan (Haas) already warned me that the Australian riders are pretty good in shape that time of the year where the Nationals and the Tour Down Under is just around the corner. It was a very tough race and it was unexpected that our five-man group made it to the finish. But the break was strong (Miles Scotson was sitting in there) and immediately we got some time to the bunch. In the end it was man against man and I’m happy I did it," added Haller.

For Marco, the victory is a boost after losing a large part of the season in 2018. In April he broke his kneecap in training in a collision with a car and was out for six month of racing.

The Bay Crits continues tomorrow in Geelong with another criterium on a 650m lap course.

Lazer helmets are Team Sunweb's new technical partner

Here's the release Team Sunweb sent me:

Kicking off the new year, Team Sunweb are proud to announce that they have teamed up with Lazer as their helmet supplier and technology partner. Lazer will supply Team Sunweb with the latest developments in cycling helmets, focusing on state-of-the-art innovations in safety, aerodynamics and comfort.

The partnership between the team and Lazer marks the start of Lazer’s anniversary year, with which it brings 100 years of experience within head protection to the team.

Mike Smink, Commercial Director of Lazer Sport: “We are extremely proud to partner with the world-class Team Sunweb. Together with the experts and riders at the team we will push our future developments forward, aiming to enhance safety, performance and comfort, eventually for all cyclists around the world.”

Iwan Spekenbrink, CEO of Team Sunweb: “With the addition of Lazer as our technical partner, Team Sunweb’s experts and Lazer will work closely together to make the next steps in aerodynamics, as well as safety improvements and temperature control. The first wind tunnel tests look extremely promising, we are therefore confident that the cooperation with Lazer will support our ambitions for the years to come.”

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